The Absolute Worst Hotel in Miami and South Beach

Nobody has ever made me feel so insulted, demeaned, and as worthless as Sarah of Diamond Resorts and her management staff had made me feel throughout my entire stay at Crescent Resort. Even during the aftermath of fighting to get my money back, they continued to show me that they did not care to make appropriate amends for my terrible experience with them. They fought very hard for my money and won. However, I hope that my review will help fellow travellers make informed decisions when visiting Miami and the surrounding South Beach area.

I’d booked four rooms for three nights for a total of 13 people. It was my bachelorette weekend and we had planned for a full two days of beach/city activities. When we arrived late Thursday night, it took about 30 minutes to get checked in because their system wasn’t working properly. Sarah and the receptionist asked me for at least 3 different credit cards before they figured out how to work their program. This created all sorts of headaches, such as my card being charged six different times instead of four, but it was the least out of all the problems that we encountered at Crescent Resort.

The most distressing event happened when the room I was in was issued to another party the following night. We were very lucky that my friends and I were in the room when the other party came in, but it was the first time that I had ever felt unsafe at a hotel. Who knew what kind of people they were? What if I had been alone? What if they were not of good moral character and had assaulted me? Who knows what they could have stolen had we not been present as they walked in? After a very long conversation at the front desk, Jennifer issued me a refund of $13 resort fee on each room for their mistake, but her nonchalant attitude about it was unsettling for us all. She made her indifference perfectly clear each time we brought up an issue with the hotel by not looking at us while we talked and refusing to give us her full attention (she kept looking at her computer screen) until we had to ask to speak to her manager. At that point, she tried her best to keep us from seeing the manager by saying that she’d call me back the next day. But she didn’t. When I asked if her manager knew that I wanted to speak with her, she just told me again that she’d call me. Until the day she would call, my friends and I had to deal with a flurry of other issues with the hotel while trying to not let them ruin our trip.

One of my friends in a different room had informed the hotel that there were many bugs in the room and bed. It wasn’t a complete infestation, but they were found in places we think should be kept sanitary (they were even on the shower towels). My friend must have spoken to them several times about the same issue because they didn’t offer her group a different room. But the conversation she had with Jeff/Jim?, who was working his first day as interim manager (or so he said) while Sarah was away, made it very clear what their hotel was about: blaming the guest. When my friend had to bring a towel down as evidence of the bugs, he asked her if we had opened any windows to let them in. When she told him that we didn’t open any of the windows, he picked up a dead bug off of the towel and told her that he also stays at the hotel but has never seen any bugs in his room. And then he asked a passing hotel worker if those kinds of bugs bite. When the worker guessed that the bugs don’t bite, Jeff/Jim? proceeded to tell my friend that they indeed do not bite and that she shouldn’t worry about it. He did nothing but undermine her concerns about the conditions of her room and made her feel even worse. We had to keep up with our schedule so we left for the evening, but when we came back to sleep, they found many more bugs in the sheets and pillows. That time she asked for a different room but the man at the front desk told her there weren’t any rooms available. When she insisted, a room miraculously opened up, but only for an EXTRA CHARGE. When she showed him a video of the bugs and asked him if HE would sleep in that bed, he moved them into the room without the charge. This was the night before we all had flights back home. The next day when we got home, one of the girls who had been in that room had a bite on her foot that had swelled up so much that she had to get her sibling, who was a doctor, to take a look at it. With drugs, the swelling died down, but we still don’t know what kind of bite it was.

My friend in another room had a broken & leaking toilet. Friday morning, the receptionist told her that maintenance would come by the next morning at 8:30 to fix it. It would be almost 24 hours until they would have a working toilet but they weren’t offered a different room, so they had to keep going back and forth to use another friend’s toilet and shower. Lo and behold, nobody came to fix it until late afternoon Saturday, only after we had asked what was going on with the missed appointment. Nobody had bothered to clean up the dirty, smelly toilet water in that time window, either. It was definitely an inconvenience because we had to leave early Sunday morning, so they had a working toilet for not even 12 hours (most of which had to be spent sleeping for an early flight). My friends should have been offered a different room if they were going to lie about fixing it in a reasonable time. The hotel staff were simply disinterested about their lack of follow-up and deliverance when asked why we were not notified that maintenance would be late.

Another room had no hot water. When my friend had informed management of this, she was asked if she knew how to work the shower correctly. Instead of trying to get to the root of the problem, we were questioned yet again, in their hopes of trying to find fault by their guests. She was not offered a different room, either, but was promised that it would be looked into. Again, they did not follow up with us on the status of this problem. It was never fixed. My friends found out the day before we had to leave that the lever was calibrated incorrectly. Until then, everyone in her room also had to use a different friend’s shower throughout the stay.

In addition to these instances, two of our rooms had tidy service come into the rooms without knocking first. The man who came into my room almost walked in on me and my friends dressing because we were getting ready to go out. Tidy service skipped our room completely on Friday. Our bathroom lights were broken. One room’s sheets had an unknown white substance stained on them (they were obviously not washed). Some of the rooms didn’t have beach towels, so when we asked for some, we had to wait nearly an hour before being able to go to the beach (again, setting us behind schedule). It was important to get the towels because Crescent Resort will charge $100 if they find a towel missing. With this rule, they could easily not place beach towels in the room and charge the $100 after you leave because they were not there in the first place. As for regular towels: when I asked for fresh ones since they skipped tidy service for my room, it took two calls and more than an hour to finally get them. The girls in my room had just started taking showers after an hour of being wet from the beach while my other friends were already heading out to dinner reservations.

All in all, it wasn’t just the inconveniences of having to work our planned schedule around Crescent Resort’s failures. It was the collective unprofessional attitude of everyone working there that I was the most upset about – the fact that they just didn’t care. They didn’t care about our safety. They didn’t care if we had clean rooms or not. They didn’t care that we, as their guests, had our basic needs met. Instead, their first response to a problem was to deflect any sort of responsibility for themselves.

When I finally got to speak with someone in charge, I was on the phone with Jeff/Jim. I explained to him about everything that had been going on with our rooms. I was very clear that we were disappointed in the way we had been treated by him and his staff. When I finally heard an apology from him, it was delivered with condescension: He said he was very sorry for the inconveniences, but that honestly, they were “MINOR ISSUES THAT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY HOTEL.”

I had never been treated this way before by anyone, let alone by someone in the hospitality industry. I had also never encountered so many problems with a hotel before this one. I had never had my safety compromised by a hotel before this one. Above all, I could not believe that I was given a back-handed apology for everything I had been through because of Crescent Resort.

I thought that when I would finally get to hear from Sarah, the manager who had been away this whole time, that I would at least be shown respect. I could not have been more wrong. She stood by the way Jim/Jeff had treated us by offering me the excuse that “maybe he was flustered on his first day?” She told me that she could not issue me a refund until Expedia paid them first, so I contacted Expedia to get the process started. However, they told me something different – that all they had to do was call her at the hotel and hear a verbal “yes” for the refund and it would be processed immediately. After many weeks of calling Expedia, who would then call the hotel for Sarah, they finally got a hold of her when she told them she would offer a 50% refund for ONE room out of the four. When I asked her why she offered a refund for only one room when multiple incidences were tied to each of the four rooms, Sarah then stopped all contact with me and Expedia was not able to issue any refund at all. I then initiated a case with my credit card company to dispute the charge, but Crescent Resort won that battle as well.

Even if it’s true that Crescent Resort will be renovated, these problems will not go away. They can upgrade the old, dirty building, but there will always be things that go wrong. And when they do, it is the best way to judge one’s character during times of difficulty. Do they take responsibility? Do they continue to show respect towards others? Do they uphold their promises and values? Crescent Resort has failed all of these in regards to our experience.

I highly doubt that Sarah and Jeff/Jim will change. At their age, they are most likely set in their ways. So in the event that something goes wrong, THIS is how you can expect them to respond. THIS is how they handle their mistakes. It is incredulous that they operate in the hotel industry, where service and hospitality are the core values it is built upon.

I’ve read the Diamond management responses to negative reviews. It seems that their responses will always be the last public word on the situation, so please be advised that whatever they write in response may not be entirely true. I realize the same can be said for me or anyone else’s review, but I took the time to write an accurate account of my stay for a good reason. It is why something like this exists – to establish a community of real travellers who give real advice so that you can make your trip the best that it can be, all through accountability. Please save yourself a world of trouble by staying somewhere else in Miami. I have never met management staff who proactively go out of their way to blame others for their failures and deliberately choose not to take responsibility for themselves as they do. I truly regret staying here at Crescent Resort on South Beach.